Monday, March 30, 2015

Tracks - Ceské Budejovice / Czech Republic (Sun 11 Sep 2005)

Tracks - Ceské Budejovice Home of Budweiser Budvar / Czech Republic (Sun 11 Sep 2005)

We were travelling by train from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna. The stopped on the platform for 5 mins and I managed to get this shot which has really grown on me as one of my favourites.

Eiffel History: Eiffel Liberty Journal (eljeiffel)

Bertrand and Geoff - ETH / Zurich (Thu 25 Sep 2014)

Eiffel History: Eiffel Liberty Journal (Feb 2006) at TeamEiffel

One of Eiffel's most prolific activists from the mid-90s to 2002 was Geoff Eldridge from Australia. He spent most of his spare time hanging out in places like comp.lang.eiffel spreading information to help people to use Eiffel.

After the demise of Eiffel Outlook magazine, Geoff decided that the Eiffel community still needed a magazine, but that it should be online instead of paper-based. With that in mind, he talked a dozen or so Eiffel notables into writing articles for the first issue, and he soon published it on a website at the University of Technology, Sydney.

The magazine was named "Eiffel Liberty", inspired by the fact that Gustav Eiffel had designed the framework for both the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The word Liberty also reflected that Geoff had visions of helping to "set Eiffel free" from the chains that were restraining it.

The first couple of issues of Eiffel Liberty were very popular, and Geoff moved them across to his newly-registered domain where he continued to publish a new issue every two months or so.

The increased webspace, and availability of scripting tools, allowed Geoff to expand the scope of the site considerably, and soon Eiffel Liberty was hosting a huge amount of content besides Eiffel Liberty Journal. Geoff's interest in Object Technology featured strongly, and as a result the site gained widespread readership beyond the Eiffel community.

As Geoff's interests broadened, he also covered scripting languages, methodology, functional programming, extreme programming, software quality and componentry. Geoff also latched on to the burgeoning interest in open source software and featured it strongly.

Despite these broadening interests, Geoff kept up the Eiffel content. He maintained GUERL, Geoff's Eiffel Resource Locator which had links to every possible resource useful to practitioners of Eiffel. In time, this overflowed into the OO Soapbox where links to other languages and technologies were featured.

As if this wasn't enough, Geoff also introduced ELJ Daily, a regular posting of the latest snippets relating to Eiffel and Object Technology. Today we'd call this a blog, but the word hadn't been invented yet. Indeed, Geoff was one of the world's first bloggers.

All this time too, Geoff was also writing open source Eiffel software and inspiring others to do the same. Talk about a powerhouse! He was also having to pay a sizeable chunk of his own cash for hosting costs and bandwidth. He never carried ads on the site.

As the site grew, Geoff and others referred to it good-naturedly by a number of alternative acronyms, including Extremely Large Jumble, which it had certainly become. It was a very useful and much-appreciated jumble nonetheless. The nickname caught on, and soon the homepage itself carried the new slogan.

But all was not well. Geoff felt that he wasn't getting much support from the Object community. He contrasted this with his other interest, photography, where he found the online communities to be highly engaging and supportive. His massive workload might have been getting him down too, and it wouldn't have helped that his girlfriend Jenny (later his wife) had cancer.

A major blow came in late 2000 after some people had strongly criticized the GUERL page as being full of disorganized rubbish. Geoff took this to heart, and erased the page, announcing that "This page has been retired ... I suppose no impression is much better than a bad impression". Many pleaded with him to restore the page, but it was not to be.

In a way, that was the beginning of the end. Although Geoff plugged away for a few more years, the zest was never there quite like it had been before, and Geoff was devoting more time to the newly-emerging hobby of digital photography. On 24 September 2002 Geoff took down the whole of

No-one in the Eiffel community seems to know what Geoff is up to now - and quite a few of us have tried to track him down. The home page is still live, though it contains nothing more than an invitation to click through to Cetus Links. (Does Geoff realise that a three-character domain name can be sold for quite a lot these days?)

Geoff, if you're out there, why not post a comment and let us know what you're up to?

THanks for Roger Browne who wrote this. It brings back a lot of memories.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nicky - Zest / Sawtell (Fri 20 Mar 2015)

Nicky and her Zebra Canvas from Chelmsford Markets - Zest / Sawtell (Fri 20 Mar 2015)

Sophia Phan on James Brickwood and Portrait Phtography:

When it comes to taking portraits, James says it's all about the conversation.
"You're sitting there, you're having a dialogue, you're usually talking to the subject longer because you're trying to show the private side of them – as much that's accessible."
James shoots with a 50mm lens on a lot of his portraiture. Because of its focal length, you get the feeling that you're standing with the person to some extent.
via Spectrum Now: photographer James Brickwood captures Ed Sheeran's softer side by Sophia Phan.

Just using my iPhone for these portraits. Not sure of the focal length, but you need to get fairly close to get these kinds of portraits. Nicky is English and bought the Zebra Canvas at Chelmsford Markets and it is certainly the focal point for her Coffee Shop which is full of great art from near and far. Nice chatting to you Nicky. You have a great place and we will be back for sure.

Details - Zest / Sawtell (Fri 20 Mar 2015)

Margaret - Exhibition Tour Guide - The Black Rose / Trent Parke (Mon 23Mar 2015

Margaret P - The Black Rose Exhibition Guide / Art Gallery of South Australia (Mon 23 Mar 2015)

James Brickwood on Portrait Photography:

I like to keep it quite close and intimate and I like to highlight the subject, that's why I have a clean background.
via Spectrum Now: photographer James Brickwood captures Ed Sheeran's softer side by Sophia Phan.

Margaret you are a champion: a fantastic tour - I loved your enthusiasm and I learnt so much more about Trent's work. Keep doing what you are doing. Thanks for allowing me to take these photos - I think your enthusiasm for what you do, shines through strongly in these photos. Again, with thanks for the Tour and Photos.

PS - What I took from Trent's Black Rose Exhibition: The Circle of Life: Conception, Birth, Living, Dying, Death and what follows - Fate and Destiny - Luck, Chance and Serendipity (my own Trent Parke Serendipity Story).

Monday, March 23, 2015

On Imagination - Trent Parke / The Black Rose (Mon 23 Mar 2015)

Imagination - Barcelona (Tue 06 Aug 2013)

Trent Parke (*) writes on Imagination (*):
Symbolically the Balck Rose represents death, or the overcoming of a long journey. It is the search for absolute perfection as the Black Rose does not truly exist. It is also referred to as Black Magic.

Imagination is the key to the whole Black Rose. It is the most important thing. Imagination is always so important to me. And Dreams allow you to get to those places you can't get to in your normal day to day working. They up open things up you could never possibly think of.


Friday, March 20, 2015

On Photography and Light - Trent Parke / Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore (Sun08 Mar 2015)

Yellow with a Little Bit of Red - "love my new iPhone6 - always have a decent camera now" - Mitchell Road / Alexandria (Sat 14 Mar 2014)

Trent Parke on Photography and Light:

You walk around at times thinking the whole world is a painting. Light is my work.
via The photographer who made Australia his canvas by Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore.

Trent Parke: The Black Rose opens 14 March at the Art Gallery of South Australia, as part of the 2015 Adelaide Festival..

Off to Adelaide for the day on Monday to see this exhibition. A kindred spirit in life and photography and he has inspired my own efforts in many ways. Maybe more on this next week ...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

On Hope, Healing and the Future - Doug Miller (Sun 11 Oct 2009)

Hands - Janice and Joanne / Ashfield (Sun 15 Mar 2015)

Doug Miller (*) writes On Hope (*):
Hope waits. Ready for us to reach out and grasp its firm hand. [..] There is hope and healing and a future no matter what our circumstances.
via A Message To The Broken (*) by Doug Miller (*).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nothing Really Matters - Eileen Cady / Footprints on the Path

Words of Wisdom from Janice's Fridge Door - Ashfield (Sun 15 Mar 2015)

.. "nothing really matters" .. by Eileen Cady

Dwell not in the past,
Use it to illustrate a point;
then leave it behind.
except what you do now
In this instant of time.

From this moment onward
you can be entirely different person
filled with love and understanding,
ready with an outstretched hand,
uplifted and positive
in every thought and deed.

Eileen Caddy / Footprints on the Path

Recently had an experience that has forced me to reflect on life more than I normally would.

I recently had to abstract my experience down to a txt message, so someone could appreciate and understand what I went through during and after this experience. Here it is:

I saw the generosity, concern and empathy of complete strangers. I saw first hand the diversity, strength and professionalism of our Rescue Services - I'm in awe of them. I saw the importance of life and how fragile our connection is with it.
I'm proud of my decisions and my actions that day, I think it helped save someones life.

Due to circumstance and/or privacy laws, it is not possible to thank all those people who helped that day, so I say it here - THANK YOU.

An experience like that makes you reflect a lot and in some ways it was life changing - a spiritual experience actually.

I have dwelt on this for far too long and it has had a bigger impact (both negative and positive, oddly enough) on me than I could ever imagined.

It is now time to acknowledge that it did happen for the first and last time here. And it is also now time to leave it behind. Let it go!!!

And so that is that.

Coffs Harbour Bound : Heading Home - Kurnell / Kamay Botany Bay National Park (Mon 16 Mar 2015)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Learning to Fly - Coming Home / Sydney to Coffs Harbour (Mon 16 Mar 2015)

Learning to Fly - Coming Home / Sydney to Coffs Harbour (Mon 16 Mar 2015) - View on YouTube

Back to Coffs Harbour for another week at home with Mum. On a whim I decided to take a few photographs on my iPhone6 to capture the wild ocean as we came in for a landing in Coffs from the North. Decided to put it on video mode and leave it on for the last 4 or 5 minutes. And if it worked out I thought I would add the Foo Fighters Learn to Fly (it takes me back to Sydney 2000) as a soundtrack. In the end, I used the following, which is far more appropriate in spirit and mood. A lovely song. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it all together on the iPhone6 - who would have thought this could all be done on a mobile so easily and effortlessly.

Learning To Fly Lyrics
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Well, I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I'm learning to fly but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well, the good ol' days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn

I'm learning to fly but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well, some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I've started out for God knows where
I guess I'll know when I get there

I'm learning to fly around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

I'm learning to fly but I ain't got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing
I'm learning to fly around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

I'm learning to fly
I'm learning to fly
Coffs Harbour landing from the North - Diggers Beach and Park Beach / Coffs Habour (Mon 16 Mar 2015)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Remembering Tim - Norwood Park Crematorium / Canberra (Fri 11 Mar 2005)

Tim (my Brother) and Tom (my Dad) - Norwood Park Crematorium / Canberra (Fri 27 Feb 2015)

Today, 10 years on, we Remember Tim:

Timothy Francis Eldridge was born on Wednesday 4 December 1963 in Tamworth NSW. He became the third and youngest child of Thomas and Betty. He had an elder sister, Lynn, spelt with two n's not one as Tim persisted throughout his whole life). Lynn was two years older than Tim. Myself, Geoff being 3 years older was the eldest. His father was an electrical engineer with the Electricity Commision of NSW. The Regional Centre was based in Tamworth and from this office the electricity transmission system in northern NSW grew. The nature of his Father's work often required nights away from home. We all looked forward to Dad's return on Friday Night with a bag of mixed lollies for all.

Lynn and I found as oursleves at school and this gave Tim two years at home with Mum by himself. Mum tells me now that he spent this time playing with the kids across the road. Even at this early age Tim was making friends. I seem to recall also that Tim managed to get a 1/2 day of pre-school (a first in the family). I always felt that this small period with other new kids gave Tim a nice head start when he commenced his schooling at South Tamworth Primary. He was well adjusted for the rigours of school, made friends easily (he was always going to birthday parties) and was a natural at anything he put his mind to.

He started in the top class in Kindy and there he stayed each year through his primary school days (and subsequent educational endeavours). Tim was a also a natural athlete and started playing rugby league at he age of eight, moving quickly onto soccer and then finally hockey (all in one year .. maybe this was a sign of things to come). He played representative hockey for Tamworth at the state champships every June Long Weekend. I even recall him playing under 12 hockey at Lismore when he was only 9. He was a prodigy even then. He also represented the North Western NSW primary school team in Murwullumbah where his team came back as state champions. Another little publicised sporting achievement was middle distance running and I remember him running a low 2 minute 800 meters at the Tamworth Primary Schools Athletic Carnival. A record that was not broken for many years.

The year Tim finished his primary school saw the Eldridge family move from Tamworth to Wagga for Dad's work. This was a tough time for everyone but we all adapted to new environs and our new high school in Wagga called Kooringal High. It was a new school and much smaller than the high school Lynn and I left in Tamworth. Probably 1/4 the size in students and was so new that it did not even have a sixth form in our first year there. Tim as always fitted in very quickily and he found new friends almost instantly. Many of whom are here today.

By the time Tim reached Wagga he had found the game of golf and before long he was swinging a set of clubs out at the Wagga Country Club, across the lake from where we lived. Here he spent many hours fine tuning his tee shots, fairway shots, chips and putts (or spits as his young nephew would subsequently refer, many years later). Golf was to become a life long passion and this was something which always stayed with him. It was only his 94 year old grandfather who thought something was wrong four weeks ago when he percieved Tim had lost interest in his Golf.

Tim breezed through high school and obtained excellent grades with little effort. In his final year he was nominated as perfect (whooops I meant "a prefect") and was voted school vice captain by his peers. For his HSC he studied a couple of hours each night on the floor in front of the TV. To recover from this strenous study regime, he would spend the next day playing 36 holes of golf.

With his HSC behind him Tim entered the University of Sydney and worked his way towards a Civil Engineering degree over a four year period. The first two years of his course, Tim lived at Wesley College, a residential college on the grounds of Sydney University. Here, Tim, along with some of high school buddies quickily adapted to the demanding University life style. Days at the beach, missing lectures, drinking beer, etc. He found new friends quickily and again many are here today. The nucleaus of this group were quickily dubbed the "DAMAGE BOYS" because of the drinking reputation at College Victory Dinners, formals and other ramdon gatherings.

Mid way through his second year, Tim's father Thomas passed away suddenly at the early age of 47 after a sunday afternoon hockey match. It was my job to tell Tim the news that Sunday night. I now remember his numb response to my news. "Where has he gone?" he asked. His fathers death at such a young age for all of us was a defining moment in Tim's life (probably the most defining moment up until last Saturday). It was a difficult time for Tim and the Family. Initially he seemed to cope well, but the next year saw Tim arrive home to Wagga unannounced many times during the university terms. I guess the one lesson (or theory actually I would call it a LAW) Tim would give us today from all this would be to grieve properly, seek support from Family, Friends and professionals and to address the difficult issues these tramatic events have on the fragile human soul.

Anyway, back to Uni, Tim bravely persisted and graduated with honours at the end of 1985. His brief but eventful civil engineering career started with a small but prestigous Civil Engineering Consultating companycalled Wargon, Chapman and Partners. Mr Wargon, a famous Amercican civil engineer appeared to take Tim under his wing and Tim quickily found himself designing car parks, and tall buildings. As well as doing one-off type jobs such as a structural integrity report of the Channel 9 Transmitter Antenna at the Channel 9 Compound, and preliminary designs for the now Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

Tim quickily realised that Civil Engineering was not for him (however a recent rush of activity with home decks shows there was some latent interest in at least some things civil). On the fifth redesign for an Alan Bond tower on the old Waltons site across from the Sydney Town Hall, Tim decided to move on. This gave him the chance to travel for 3 months overseas which took him to many places in Europe, England, particularly London and even India (if I recall correctly).

London was a place to which Tim would return frequently over the rest of his life, the last being July/August last year. The drawcards to London were friends and another life passion I have not yet mentioned, English Football. His favourite team during his schools days was Queens Park Rangers. Though his interested waned when their goalie Phil Parkes defected to my team West Ham in 1977 for a then world record sum of 565,000 pounds. Subsequent years and more recently Tim has been an Arsenal supporter.

On his return in the late 80's Tim persued his ambition for a new career. In this pursuit he found himself in Canberra studying part-time for a degree in Information Systems at the then Canberra College of Advanced Education and working part-time for small scientific software consulting firms. One system I remember was a flight simiulator program driven by data from aircraft black-box recorders.

On graduation from the CCAE Tim started work at Customs and then Department of Veterans Affairs for a record three years. Towards the end of this stint in DVA, Tim bought his house in Griffith, just up from Marnucka. He lived in the house briefly before deciding that a six month stint in Los Angles working on a Telon Related Inventory system was the go. On his return he decided to work in Sydney and here he had stints at NRMA and Westpac. Weekends saw Tim travelling back to his home in Canberra to catch up with friends and to play golf amongst other things. This became too tiring and before long he was back in Canberra fulltime working at the Australian Tax Office and subsequently Customs. His crowning software achievement was an ATO case-actioning tool which I believed was to be a distillation of systems and processes from the many places he had worked.

More recently, Tim returned to DVA where he ventured into web-based systems using packages such as Websphere and Tomcat.

Wherever Tim worked, he took the roles on seriously. He appeared to very much love a process and a set of rules to capture and implement. He believed rules were meant not to be broken (contrary to the majority of the population) and I always thought that he was perfect fit for the ATO. [He had a great sense of what was right and doing it right].

Another constant in Tim's life were his friends and I will always remember his 40th birthday speech where he said the party was not to celebrate his 40th, but more importantly, a chance for his family and friends to get together.

There is so much more to be said. We all have our memories of Tim and I ask you for just one moment to reflect on the good times you had with him ... and to take this forward with you through the tough times ahead.

It is now time to say goodbye to a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, uncle, friend and colleague. We now know that Tim struggled with a delibertating and destructive illness which he held undercover for many years. I ask you to take the time to consider the strength he showed under this enormous pressure and to admire him for how he lived a relatively normal and happy life, shared with friends and family.

In the end Tim ran out "Puff" as he said and found peace from his illness the only way he knew how. Please forgive him. He asked for this.

Tim, you asked me where Dad had gone. We know that you searched for him high and low. We also now know that you have found him. The search and struggle is complete and that you have found your peace.

You will always have a special place in our hearts and memories. We will miss you.

Love .. Mum, Lynn and Geoff ..

Monday, March 2, 2015

God Still Loves You!!! - Valletta / Malta (Sat 20 Sep 2014)

God Still Loves You!!! I Love You, Also - Valletta / Malta (Sat 20 Sep 2014)